Florida House Passes Bill Voiding Disney’s Land Development Agreement

Florida lawmakers have passed a bill that would void Disney’s development agreement with the former Reedy Creek Improvement District and Ron DeSantis is expected to sign it, according to Deadline.

UPDATE 5/5/2023:

  • As expected, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed the bill, notably without a press conference. Rep. Anna V. Eskamani tweeted about the bill, later responding to comments adding that she thinks another lawsuit from Disney is imminent.

UPDATE 5/4/2023:

  • The new bill has passed through the Florida Senate and is expected to arrive at the Governor’s desk. If (and when) Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signs the bill, it will take effect on July 1, 2023.

Originally Reported:

  • The 30-year development agreement between Disney and the district essentially gave Disney some freedom in regards to its land use.
  • The new bill includes a provision that prohibits the district from complying with the development agreement.
  • To be more specific, the bill bars special districts from complying with agreements executed within three months of a law being passed changing how a district’s board members are selected.
  • The development agreement was passed by Reedy Creek on February 8th and DeSantis signed legislation giving the state control of the board on February 27th.
  • Disney argues that the agreement complied with the law:
    • “All agreements signed between Disney and the district were appropriate and were discussed and approved in open, noticed public forums in compliance with Florida’s Government in the Sunshine law.”
  • This is just the latest maneuver in an ongoing battle between Disney and DeSantis.
  • Last week, Disney filed a lawsuit against the Florida governor, saying “a targeted campaign of government retaliation—orchestrated at every step by Governor DeSantis as punishment for Disney’s protected speech—now threatens Disney’s business operations, jeopardizes its economic future in the region, and violates its constitutional rights.”
  • In response, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight board filed a countersuit, with Chairman Martin Garcia saying “Since Disney sued us, we have no choice now but to respond.”
Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."